2011-12 girls basketball team preview capsules

info@islandpacket.comNovember 24, 2011 

BATTERY CREEK

Coach (record at school): Bernadette Ulmer (12-12, second season)

2010-11 record (playoff results): 12-12, 6-4 Region 7-AAA, lost in first round of Class 3-A playoffs

Notable losses: Katrece Daniels, Nyeeka Simmons, Rashidah Jones

Returning starters: Justice Hill, Daisja Cannon

Key newcomers: Ericka Alston, Diamon Smalls, Elizabeth Ford, Alisha Varela

Strengths: Ulmer expects the Dolphins to exhibit good team speed and ability in transition.

Weaknesses: The Dolphins will have to overcome their inexperience, with three starters lost from last season. Hill and Cannon will be asked to lead.

Burning question: How will the Dolphins replace leading scorer Katrece Daniels?

Key player: Justice Hill -- She developed into a force in the post with 10.0 points and 6.1 rebounds per game last year, and she will need to do even more to help the Dolphins return to the Class 3-A playoffs.

Outlook: The Dolphins will look to improve their region record and advance past the first round of the Class 3-A playoffs.

BEAUFORT ACADEMY

Coach: Jay Gardner (sixth season, 53-67 at BA)

2010-11 record: 12-11, 7-5 in region, lost in first round of playoffs

Roster: Megan Kahn (6-0, Sr., C), Charlotte Delfosse (5-6, Jr., G), Katie Gay (5-6, Fr., G), Miranda Weslake (5-6, Soph., G), Katherine Neal (5-9, Sr., F), McKenzie Blake (5-7, Fr., F), Megan Debardelaben (5-7, Jr., F), Taylor Vincent (5-6, Fr., G), Kiana Fortner (5-5, 8th, G)

Notable losses: None

Returning starters: F Katherine Neal, C Megan Kahn, F Megan Debardelaben, G Charlotte Delfosse, G Miranda Weslake

Key newcomers: G Kiana Fortner

Strengths: The Eagles have experience at every position and the most talented roster they have boasted in recent memory.

Weaknesses: The bench is young and unproven, and the Eagles don't have many players who can push the pace and run the floor. They're more suited for the half-court set.

Burning question: Will the experience of five returning starters lead to more consistent efforts night after night?

Key player: Katherine Neal is the Eagles' leader on and off the floor and at both ends of the court.

Outlook: The Eagles have set their goals as a top-two finish in the region, finishing above .500 for a second year in a row and advancing to the state semifinals.

BEAUFORT HIGH

Coach (record at school): Lillian Keeler Aldred (13-1, second season)

2010-11 record (playoff results): 13-11, lost in first round of Class 4-A playoffs

Notable losses: G Arielle McPhee, G Jay Shaw, F Mykalah Smalls

Returning starters: G Emani Gray, G Paris Smith, C Ebony Watson

Key newcomers: Kaitlyn Hamilton, Mattie Hibbs

Strengths: The Eagles boast good team speed. And Keeler Aldred says they are playing smarter than a season ago.

Weaknesses: Other than Watson, the Eagles lack much height. But Keeler Aldred said her team will counteract with hustle.

Burning question: Can anyone match Watson inside? The Eagles' center was dominant at times last season. Her team will lean on her more with guar Arielle McPhee gone.

Key player: Emani Gray -- The guard had a good season in a supporting role. She will likely be asked to produce more to replace what the Eagles have lost.

Outlook: Keeler Aldred thinks her team is a good mix of returners and newcomers, and that with a little work, the Eagles could attain one of their best seasons.

BLUFFTON

Coach: Lonnie Roberts (106-113, eighth year)

2010-11 results: 17-8 overall, 8-2 in Region 7-AAA, lost to Darlington in the first round of the Class 3-A playoffs

Roster: Alex Bailey (Sr., G), Annidet Giles (Soph., G), Monique Bryant (Sr., F), Jennifer Giles (Sr., G), Johnnie Gaston (Soph., F), Tibra Wheeler (Sr., G), Dynasty Mervin (Soph., G), Alexis Manuel (Fr., F), Amber Klitzsch (Fr., F), Tatyana Fripp (Soph., G), Shakeria Kitty (Sr., F)

Notable losses: G Sheree Williams (9.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 4.5 spg), F Bre Brown, G Katelyn Grant, G Shawanda Stokes

Returning starters: PG Jennifer Giles, SG Tibra Wheeler, PF Shakeria Kitty, G Alex Bailey, G Monique Bryant

Key newcomers: G Dynasty Mervin, G Annidet Giles, F Johnnie Gaston, G Tatyana Fripp, F Alexis Manuel, G Amber Klitzsch

Strengths: Roberts says his team will rely on its defense, quickness and hustle to win games.

Weaknesses: The Bobcats lost eight seniors from last year's team, which had one of the most successful seasons in school history. Only five players return from that team.

Burning question: Will the Bobcats find a reliable rotation by region play?

Key player: Jennifer Giles -- A four-year starter, Giles is primed to take the next step offensively and help carry the load for a young Bobcats team.

Outlook: Bluffton expects to take a step back with the loss of eight seniors, but look for the team to remain competitive in region play.

HILTON HEAD CHRISTIAN

Coach: Kenny Conroy (first year, 101-32 at HHCA from 1997-2001)

2010-11 record: 3-22, 0-10 region, lost in first round of playoffs

Roster: Kelly Humes (Sr., F), Julee Kuklinski (Jr., G), Addison Bensch (Sr., G), Audrey Bensch (Soph., G), Reilly Malphrus (Fr., F), Becky Woods (Sr., G), Lauren Davis (Sr., F), Francesca Guidobono (Soph., F), Andy Anderson (Fr., G), Kiki Gehrt (Sr., F)

Notable losses: F Jaden Colella, G Jessica Day, G Anna Bensch

Returning starters: G Audrey Bensch, G Becky Woods, F Lauren Davis

Key newcomers: G Andy Anderson, F Francesca Guidobono, G Julee Kuklinski (transfer from Hilton Head High)

Strengths: The Eagles have a deep, experienced bench and some decent size in the post.

Weaknesses: Conroy is looking for someone to step up and become a vocal leader.

Burning question: How quickly can Anderson and Guidobono develop into impact players in the post?

Key player: Lauren Davis averaged 10.8 points and 6.6 rebounds in five games before a season-ending knee injury last season. The Eagles need her to get back to that level of contribution to be successful.

Outlook: The Eagles should improve on last year's three wins, but wins in the region will be hard to come by even with Hilton Head Prep in rebuilding mode.

HILTON HEAD HIGH

Coach: Dave Greenberg (89-93, eighth year)

2010-11 results: 21-4 overall, 8-2 Region 7-AAA, lost in first round of Class 3-A playoffs

Roster: Rachel Friend (Fr., G, 5-5), Macy King (Jr., G, 5-7), Lauryn Bush (Fr., G, 5-8), Chanel Cohen (Jr., G, 5-8), Sabrina Drammis (Sr., G, 5-11), Jamese Franklin (Sr., F, 5-10), Tashawna Washington (Sr., G, 5-8), Zion Campbell (Fr., F, 6-2), Brennan O'Gorman (Fr., G, 5-7), Americal Jenkins (Fr., F, 5-11).

Notable losses: G/F Margo Dill (15.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg), PG Sara Manesiotis (5.2 spg, 4.0 apg), G/F Madeleine Mayer

Returning starters: G/F Sabrina Drammis (11.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 4.5 spg), G Lauryn Bush, G/F Tashawna Washington, G Macy King

Key newcomers: F Jamese Franklin, F Americal Jenkins, F Zion Campbell

Strengths: Greenberg says this year's Seahawks team has more size than any he's coached at Hilton Head High, leaving rebounding as the team's biggest advantage.

Weaknesses: The Seahawks lost their primary point guard last year, and very few of the team's returning players have experience handling the basketball.

Burning question: How will teams defend Sabrina Drammis after the graduation of Margo Dill?

Key player: Lauryn Bush -- As a freshman, Bush will be asked to play some point guard and will also be a scoring complement to Drammis.

Outlook: The Seahawks hope to defend their region title despite the loss of two starters.

HILTON HEAD PREP

Coach: Tara Dakolios (first year)

2010-11 record: 25-6, lost in SCISAA Class 3-A semifinals

Roster: Taylor Kent (5-10, Fr., F), Halie Parker (5-7, Jr., G), Abby Miles (5-7, Jr., G), Maggie Gasser (5-7, Jr., G), Sarah Hancock (5-2, Sr., G), Amber Erkan (5-3, Sr., G), Brooke Churchich (5-5, Jr., G), Allie Jaccard (5-9, Sr., F), Carlie Van (5-2, Soph., G), Gracie Anderson (6-1, Jr., C)

Notable losses: G Jill Brunori, F Kate Brunori, G Kathleen Blum, F Jamese Franklin, G Lane Czura

Returning starters: None

Key newcomers: F Taylor Kent, F Allie Jaccard, G Maggie Gasser, G Halie Parker

Strengths: The Dolphins have always thrived on their swarming defense, and this year should be no different.

Weaknesses: With all five starters gone from last year's team, Prep is light on experience and lacks proven scorers.

Burning question: Can the inexperienced players make large enough strides early in the season for the Dolphins to contend in a tough region?

Key player: Grace Anderson is the most experienced player and has a chance to be a dominant presence in the post.

Outlook: The Dolphins are no longer considered among the favorites to win the state title -- or even the region -- but Dakolios says they have set their sights high and thinks they will be competitive.

RIDGELAND

Coach (record at school): Frederick Toomer

2010-11 record (playoff results): 23-5, Class 1-A state champions

Roster: Alshaya Thompson (Sr.), Matesha Stevenson (Sr.), Tierra Green (Soph.), Shantavia Swinton (Sr.), April Jenkins (Sr.), Teleatha Dopson (Sr.), Zana McCall (Soph.), Tiara Nelson (Jr.), Khadeidra Laurel (Sr.), Tiera Eady (Soph.), Samantha Mervin (Sr.), NyJae Boozer (8th)

Notable losses: Brittany Richardson, Briana Walker

Returning starters: April Jenkins, Matesha Stevenson

Key newcomers: Tiara Nelson

Strengths: Ridgeland boasts one of the top backcourts in the state. The Jaguars should again harass teams with their man pressure and ability to create quick points from turnovers.

Weaknesses: The Jaguars lack much height. They will have to rely on their speed and ability to box out bigger players.

Burning question: How will Ridgeland follow last season's success? Two key pieces are gone, but expectations are still high for Toomer's group.

Key player: If Nelson can serve as a suitable replacement for Richardson, the Jaguars should be in good shape.

Outlook: Ridgeland should prove a force at the Class 1-A level if it maintains the same level defense it did during its run last season. The pieces remain.

THOMAS HEYWARD

Coach: Gary Mazzanna (fifth season, 66-36 at THA, 279-102 overall)

2010-11 record: 21-6, 8-2 region, lost in SCISAA Class 2-A state championship game

Roster: Brianna Kelnhofer (5-5, Sr., G), Brielle Jungblut (5-6, Jr., G), Haley Davis (5-5, Sr., G), Kayla Canavan (5-8, Sr., F), Ashlie Layman (5-9, Sr., F), Jamie Malphrus (5-10, Jr., F), Jessie Hubbard (5-6, Sr., G/F), Taylor Ernestine (5-2, Jr., G), Chandler Cook (5-8, Jr., F), Caitlyn Cooler (5-6, Sr., G/F), Andrea Daring (5-9, Sr., F)

Notable losses: None

Returning starters: G Brielle Jungblut, F Ashlie Layman, F Jamie Malphrus, F Kayla Canavan, G/F Caitlyn Cooler

Key newcomers: F Andrea Daring

Strengths: The Rebels are experienced and deep, with six players who spent significant time in the starting lineup back. They will again be a strong defensive team with several players capable of double-digit scoring.

Weaknesses: Mazzanna cites patience, blocking out and focus as areas where the Rebels can improve.

Burning question: How will the Rebels respond to the high expectations they carry into the season?

Key player: Junior guard Brielle Jungblut is the catalyst for the Rebels' pressure defense. She led the team with 159 steals last season.

Outlook: The Rebels will be among the favorites to win the region title and get back to the state championship game, if not win it all.

WHALE BRANCH

Coach (record at school): Wilbert Bryant (5-15, second season)

2010-11 record (playoff results): 5-15

Roster: Kenyada Moultrie (Jr., G/F), Shaquanna Green (Jr., G/F), Sharrin Reed (Soph., G), Takesha Wright (Sr., G), Fantasia Major (Sr., F), Brittney Pryor (Sr., F), Cynthia Rivers (Soph., G), Kemoni Jenkins (Fr., G/F), Deborah Fields (Sr., F), Shaniqua Johnson (Jr., F), S'nitra Mack (Jr., F), Monique Bing (Sr., C)

Notable losses: None

Returning starters: F S'nitra Mack, G/F Kenyada Moultrie, F Deborah Fields, F Brittney Pryor, G Takesha Wright

Key newcomers: G Kemoni Jenkins F Shaniqua Johnson

Strengths: Whale Branch should be strong in the post, with returners Deborah Fields and S'nitra Mack being joined by the freshman Johnson.

Weaknesses: The Warriors had trouble protecting the basketball during their first season and made mistakes expected of a first-year program. With everyone back, Bryant expects fewer mistakes in Year 2.

Burning question: Will the Warriors improve enough from last year to be competitive in Region 5-A?

Key player: Kemoni Jenkins -- The Warriors desparately needed a ball handler during their first season and might have found one in the young guard.

Outlook: "Our goal this year is to compete for the region championship," Bryant said. "Starting with game one and throughout the season, one game at a time."

Preseason rankings

Class 4-A

1. Spring Valley

2. Goose Creek

3. Dutch Fork

4. Greenwood

5. Aiken

6. Mauldin

7. Sumter

8. Orangeburg-Wilkinson

9. J.L. Mann

10. West Ashley

Class 3-A

1. Myrtle Beach

2. Wade Hampton

3. Crestwood

4. Lower Richland

5. Nation Ford

6. Dreher

7. Walhalla

8. Greenville

9. Hilton Head High

10. Daniel

Class 2-A

1. Keenan

2. Broome

3. Andrew Jackson

4. Liberty

5. Manning

6. Bishop England

7. Mullins

8. Columbia

9. Lee Central

10. Dillon

Class 1-A

1. Ridgeland

2. St. Joseph's

3. Timmonsville

4. Allendale-Fairfax

5. C.A. Johnson

6. Burke

7. C.E. Murray

8. Blackville-Hilda

9. McCormick

10. Ridge Spring-Monetta

SCISAA Class 3-A

1. Northwood

T2. Pinewood Prep

T2. Heathwood Hall

4. Cardinal Newman

5. Orangeburg Prep

6. Augusta Christian

7. Wilson Hall

8. Hilton Head Prep

9. Porter-Gaud

T10. Laurence Manning

T10. Ashley Hall

SCISAA Class 2-A

1. Thomas Heyward

2. Richard Winn

3. Holly Hill

4. Bible Baptist

5. Colleton Prep

6. Spartanburg Christian

7. Pee Dee Academy

8. Byrnes Schools

9. Thomas Sumter

10. Trinity Collegiate

SCISAA Class 1-A

T1. Lowcountry Prep

T1. Palmetto Christian

T3. WW King

T3. James Island Christian

5. Wardlaw

T6. Jefferson Davis

T6. Newberry Academy

T8. Andrew Jackson Academy

T8. Clarendon Hall

10. Covenant Christian

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